Obesity significantly shortens life expectancy
There are always contradicting statements about how badly excess weight harms our body. Does too much weight actually shorten our life expectancy? Researchers have now found that overweight and obese people have a significantly shorter life expectancy. Too much weight increases the risk of coronary heart disease, strokes, respiratory diseases and cancer. Too much weight can shorten our lifespan by up to ten years.
When people are overweight or even obese, the likelihood of certain diseases increases. An international team of scientists recently found that being overweight and obese could have even worse consequences. The international team of researchers came to the conclusion that too much weight significantly reduces the life expectancy of those affected. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "The Lancet".
Very overweight people have a life expectancy reduced by ten years
An extensive medical study has now examined the connection between too much weight and the risk of premature death. The result of the investigation was clear. Obesity and obesity significantly shorten our life expectancy. The impact on our life expectancy differs depending on weight, the authors say. Very overweight or obese people even have a life expectancy reduced by around ten years. But even if they only have a few extra pounds on their ribs and suffer from low overweight, their life expectancy drops by about a year, the experts explain in their study.
Men are significantly more affected by the premature risk of death
Overall, the increased risk of premature death (before the age of 70) among overweight or obese men is about three times greater than that of overweight or obese women, the doctors explain. This is in line with previous observations that overweight men have higher insulin resistance, liver fat levels, and a higher risk of diabetes than women, the authors say.
The WHO uses the BMI to determine overweight and obesity
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are about 1.3 billion adults in the world who suffer from obesity. Another 600 million people are even obese. The prevalence of obesity in adults is around 20 percent in Europe. In North America, the same value is around 31 percent, the experts explain. The WHO uses the so-called Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine overweight or obesity. A BMI value of 18.5 to 25 is considered normal. A value of 25 to 30 is considered overweight, 30 to 35 is moderately obese, and a BMI over 40 is considered to be extremely obese.
Being overweight increases the risk of many illnesses
The new results of the research project clearly prove that some pounds can have too many bad consequences and have negative effects on life expectancy. The study clearly demonstrated that obesity as well as obesity do involve the risk of premature death, explains lead author Emanuele Di Angelantonio from the internationally recognized University of Cambridge. The risk of premature death increases dramatically as we gain weight. This is due to diseases such as strokes, respiratory diseases and cancer. Researchers found that, for example, the risk of multiple sclerosis from being overweight also increases.
Researchers are evaluating the largest study on obesity and lifespan to date
The new study had a very broad basis for the survey. The number of data from examined patients is larger than in all other similar studies before, the authors explain. Never have more people been examined for the effects of being overweight on lifespan. For their study, the researchers evaluated the results and data from 189 previous studies in Europe, North America and other countries. When entering the study, all subjects were between 20 and 90 years old. All participants were non-smokers and did not suffer from any known chronic diseases when the doctors took their BMI.
Study started with a data set of 10.6 million patients
Initially, the doctors even examined a data set of 10.6 million patients. These were collected for individual studies between 1970 and 2015. From this huge data set, the scientists sorted out the patients who had died prematurely, but whose death had other causes than their overweight. For example, these included smokers and people with serious chronic diseases, say the experts.
Losing weight could save lives for many people worldwide
The data for the remaining patients came from four different continents. This data from 3.9 million people was eventually used for the current study, the doctors say. The results of the study clearly show that if all obese people lose weight until they reach normal weight, the number of premature deaths could be significantly reduced. One in seven Europeans who died prematurely could be saved if they lost weight and reached a normal BMI. In North America, every fifth person affected could be saved, the authors calculated.
Obesity continues to increase around the world
If the trend continues that more and more people around the world are gaining weight and becoming overweight, the increased death rate in North America could soon become the norm all over the world, warn the scientists. Today, many overweight children suffer from high blood pressure. Other research has shown that many first grade students are overweight. So the problem begins in childhood and not only in advanced age, the experts add. (as)